The story of how a determined group of women made a huge contribution to the war effort has been retold in graphic form for an anthology marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
Selina Lock is the author of Go home and Sit Still which tells the true story of the Scottish Women’s Hospital, created by Dr. Inglis, a woman surgeon whose services were refused by the army. Instead of ‘going home and sitting still’ as the army instructed, she created a unique hospital to look after troops in Russia.
The story is featured in To End All Wars: the Graphic Anthology of the First World War, published by Soaring Penguin Press, an anthology of 26 short graphic narratives based on actual events, places and people.
Lock is a Research Information Advisor at the University of Leicester and a contributor and editor to several comics anthologies. Lock recalls, “When I started researching women in the First World War I came across several accounts from women who had been involved in the Scottish Women’s Hospitals and thought they were an inspiring group.
“There is an underlying message of feminism to the story because the SWH evolved from the suffrage movement. They wanted to support the war effort, while showing that women could contribute many different skills. But mainly I wanted to tell their story because I had no idea there were British women out in Russia running hospitals during WWI and I thought other people would also find that interesting.
“One of the editors John Clark, a political cartoonist from Nottingham, contacted me about the anthology as he knew me and my previous comic strip work. They were a few months into the project and realised they didn’t have any strips looking at the experiences of women during the First World War and asked if I’d be interested in pitching some ideas.
“I’m thrilled that my story ‘Go Home and Sit Still’, illustrated by Arthur Goodman, was included because it’s a high quality collection of comic strips, inspired by true stories. I feel it does a good job of showcasing a wide range of experiences from different people and different cultures rather than just focusing on the most familiar aspects of the war.”